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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Federal shutdown not a problem for Yutu ravaged CNMI

The recent federal government shutdown will have limited effects for the Commonwealth, according to a CNMI government news release.

While Congress and the White House are in the middle of negotiations on appropriation bills for a portion of the federal government, roughly three-quarters of the government has already been funded by existing funding measures. Accordingly, critical federal services will remain intact, including other programs classified as essential. Commonwealth services remain largely undisrupted.

FEMA personnel deployed and assigned to the CNMI for recovery efforts pertaining to Super Typhoon Yutu and Typhoon Mangkhut, as well as disaster assistance, are not affected. FEMA personnel and disaster assistance are funded through the Disaster Relief Fund, which covers major disasters and emergencies.

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe will be opened on Christmas Eve from 9 noon. It will be closed on Christmas Day with normal business hours set to resume on Dec. 26, 2018.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are all slated to remain normal operations. These programs fall under mandatory spending and are not affected by any annual appropriations process.

Post offices will remain operational with normal mail delivery. The United States Postal Service is funded by independent sources.

The National Park Service announced that American Memorial Park will remain accessible to the public during the shutdown, but emergency and rescue services will be limited. Through a private partnership, the AMP Visitor Center and bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Christmas Day. Restrooms, trash collection, and other daily maintenance will be limited.

Effects of an extended federal government shutdown will grow over time, but the governor and the administration will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with federal partners on managing essential federal services.

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